BELGRADE – To accelerate its accession to the European Union, Serbia must stay on the course of the current economic development strategy and continue building a stronger and more inclusive economy, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller said in Belgrade Friday.

Muller stressed that public sector reform would be one of the key elements on that path, the World Bank said in a release.

“Reforming the expensive core public sector will be one of the key elements, especially implementation of reforms in health, education and social protection, where Serbia does not compare well to countries at similar income levels,” said Muller, who completed a three-day visit to Serbia today.

He added that “this is challenging, but also essential for Serbia’s long term competitiveness.”

The visit focused on enhancing the longstanding partnership between Serbia and the World Bank Group in support of growth and job creation, the release said.